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The Pandemic has changed our way of living each day. We continue to hear from our elected leaders that we are winning the battle, yet many of us are still unable to do the many things that are important to us. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will be one of those organizations that can reopen. I know that many people are suffering from the hardships that this virus has caused. I receive calls every day from veterans and their families who are struggling both financially and emotionally. The VA compensation that we have helped some of them to receive is the only income that they have to live on. The twelve-hundred-dollar stimulus package is certainly not enough to pay for a month or more living expenses. Some have told me that it would take a long time to catch up on their payments from mortgages, car payments, and the other bills that most of us have. All of us are ready willing and able to return to our Veterans Foundation, where we can continue to assist veterans and surviving spouses with their applications for VA benefits.
This week we would like to honor our Board of Directors advisor, Dr. Andrew Lasser. Dr. Lasser is executive vice president of Avanza Healthcare Strategies. Dr. Lasser’s rich healthcare experience includes various leadership posts, notably executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief executive officer of academic medical center hospitals, Children’s Hospitals, community hospitals, rural hospitals, and a religiously affiliated hospital. Since 1998, Dr. Lasser has been consulting in the areas of strategic thinking in healthcare operations, project feasibility, organizational structure, and hospital-physician collaborations. In addition to his professional work, Dr. Lasser has served on the Board of Directors of several community health related organizations such as Variety Care, a federally qualified health care center (FQHC), Red Cross, Heart Association and Christian Children’s Fund, an international child and community development organization. Dr. Lasser holds a doctorate in Public Health and a master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Pittsburgh. We are thankful to have Dr. Lasser’s experience on our board.
As we move forward, there will be changes in both the number of veterans that can be accepted each day and in the way they are scheduled. One of the changes that will be implemented is the number of people who are in the building at one time. To accomplish that objective, we plan to have veterans wait in their cars and trucks until we call them have their claims processed. We feel that it would be better to keep everyone separated as much as possible to reduce the chances of exposure to any virus or other type of illness. We will let you know via Facebook and our website as soon as we can open.
We are posting short informational videos to our Facebook Page that could be helpful to veterans who are filing claims for benefits.
Last week 27 veterans received a disability rating of 100% for their service-connected disabilities. This group will receive a combined annual $1,103,376. They will also be eligible for the state benefits of sales tax exemptions, property tax exemptions, and other benefits that our state provides for disabled veterans. Forty-eight veterans were awarded disability ratings from 10% to 90% and will receive a combined annual $ 1,329,868. This group of men and women will be eligible for VA Health Care, and some of them may also be eligible for other state benefits. Four surviving spouses were awarded benefits totaling $69,660 a year.
If you would like to help us make a difference, we welcome your support. We spend over $30,000 each month in direct support of the veterans and family members we serve. We transport many homeless veterans to our Norman location each week to help make a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served in the military. As you know, we are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and are wholly dependent on donations from the people we serve and local grants. We are not funded by a government entity, all the funds it takes to operate our facility and to assist veterans with medical testing and other expenses come in the form of grants from local companies or other veterans. For those of you who would like to support the program, your gifts are always appreciated and may be tax-exempt. You can shop items from our Amazon charity list to stock our food pantry and shop AmazonSmile with us as the charity – we will receive .5% of your eligible purchases. If you are interested in including us in a gift, please contact Lora at 405-550-8806, ext. 101. Monetary donations can be made online or mailed to PO Box 592, Washington, OK, 73093.
For the latest updates about our reopening, please visit our Facebook page and website dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org
Stay healthy! Our prayers are with all of you and your families during this time of trial in our country.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation